Friday Fun

I don’t know about you, but this is the end of a loooooong week for me. I am glad it’s Friday. I had one of those weeks where you blink and it’s Friday, but your to-do list hasn’t gotten any smaller. Tell me I’m not alone in feeling like this from time to time!

 

Anyway, it’s not been all bad. As it’s Friday, let’s focus on the fun things, and with that in mind, here are some things that have made me smile this past week:

Trail Runners

 

I think this is fairly accurate. Although, I’m not sure that I qualify on the beard front. I hope I don’t have a beard. Even if it is an awesome beard.

 

The temperature has dropped – not enough for snow, but enough so that SB and I have to rock our running hats when we run in the evenings now. I don’t think there’s ever been a more on-point look:

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I am happy that cold weather running is back: call me crazy, but it’s so refreshing to be out in the sharp air after being indoors all day. It clears your head in the same way that plunging into the pool after being in a jacuzzi does. Except that you’re not in a spa, or on holiday or wherever you might be jumping between pool and jacuzzi, so you’re saving money at the same time 😉

Allow me to be sentimental for a minute. One of my friends said online that they needed some inspiration for living a ‘cleaner life’. I found this pic which completely encapsulates running for me:

Running-Lessons

 

I have always surprised myself by running. I was not naturally a sporty person, but I started with a small goal (to get fit and keep an eye on my body), and gradually my goals became bigger and bigger until I find myself where I am now. Believe me, I’m as surprised – and proud – as anyone that I’ve transformed into one half of those annoying couples who go running in matching sports gear. Just kidding. Our sports gear doesn’t match, but that’s only because SB is against it. Otherwise I’d Kath & Kel it right up.

 

Kath & Kel

I know this isn’t sports gear. But look how good they look.

I read about a challenge for December known as AdventRunning. I thought perhaps it would be a nice challenge to run on each Advent Sunday, but nope: the challenge is to run for at least 30 minutes each day from 1st to 25th December. I mean…. that’s a pretty tall order during a regular month, but December? With all it’s minced pie and mulled wine goodness?

 

Anyway, competitive fool that I am, I have decided to try for it. I don’t think I’ll be so hardcore as to try for 30 minutes every day, but an average per week would be good. It would help balance out the Christmas Joy that I fully intend to partake in. Plus, the article says that runs should be documented on social media, and if you’ve learned one thing about me by now, it’s that I’m a social media addict. I’m all over it. So bring it on December! Let’s get our Advent on!

 

Finally – my brother turned 30 this week (I know, so old, right?), and we went to a cafe where we found THIS:

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I just want to share this because it had everything you could want in a cake: ganache, cream, jam, sponge. Plus it was the size of a door stop.

 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

 

Ellie B

 

 

Holiday Friday Faves

Hey everyone. It turns out that there’s a lull between when the sun goes down at 5.30 and when we eat dinner at 8.30. This is where I get my best holiday running, blogging and pre-dinner drinking done (just in case you were wondering why I’m doing blogging on holiday. There’s a LULL, guys. We either watch badly dubbed movies, or do this. And I quite like doing this!). By the way – there are more shabby places to be blogging:

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It’s the perfect place to get my people-watching done too.

Anyway, it’s Friday! And the perfect time to share how a short, ginger girl spends her days without the stresses of work and the grey skies of England. So here is what I have been:

 

  • Reading: In descending order of enjoyment, we have The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (funny, gripping, creative and really entertaining), All My Puny Sorrows (unique, sad, honest and an interesting study on love), The Aftermath (ok, a light read, but really not amazing), How to be a Girl (starting tomorrow and SO EXCITED about it too).

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  • Running in: My new Asics Gel Elevations! A few months ago I entered the Neon Run, which is in October, with a few friends. And along with that was an entry to win some shoes – which I did! I’ll do a review once I’ve broken them in properly, but they have been a dream during this trip.

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  • Watching: Emma Watson launching thew new #HeforShe campaign at the UN last weekend, and basically articulating everything that I want to but can’t because, basically, I’m not as fabulous as her. Please watch this video… I love how it’s inclusive and encourages everyone to talk rather than blame. So good.
  • Running: 12.5 miles/20kms so far. I hope to round that out to an even 18 miles by the time we leave.

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  • Eating: Chocolate. If Paris was the land where you can eat ice cream with every meal, then Tunisia (specifically this hotel) is the land where you can eat chocolate with every meal. And I’ve done myself proud, hence the target of 18 miles…

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  • Listening to: The Hamish and Andy podcast. Gotta love a bit of H&A!! They help me keep up to date with the important news of Australia, like what’s going on in The Bachelor and the first fleet of the People’s Island.
  • Learning: That factor 3o sunscreen will give you a sun tan still, and protect you from sun burn. It’s not a lie. My step-mother has been telling me this for 12 years, and I finally believe her. That’s quite a life lesson learned, believe me.

Slip Slop Slap

 

And that’s how you holiday like Ellie B! SB’s holiday has consisted of less chocolate, more weights, more movies, fewer books, more swimming and more sun.

 

Also – MOST EXCITING OF ALL – the Sydney Swans are in the Grand Final on Saturday! So, for any English readers, the Swans are the best team in the Aussie Rules Football league. I want to write that they’ll do us all proud tomorrow, but I’m weirdly superstitious about stuff like this. AFL is a fast-paced game, with high scores,high skill and high appeal. And if you’re still not convinced, perhaps this will help:

 

Uh, yeah. Biceps much??

Uh, yeah. Biceps much??

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading this holiday-drivel!

 

Ellie B

Friday: All About The Good Things.

 

Ok, after three relatively informative posts (I know, I surprised myself too!), I’m taking it back to frivolities today. Because today is Friday, and Friday is all about the good things in life.

 

So, here are eight things that I have seen/done/want to mention this week….

 

1) My running mojo is back! It’s back with such a vengeance that Bruce Willis would be proud. Here is how my week looked :

  • Monday: 2.5 miles/4k with my beginners running group. I’m going to upgrade them to intermediates because we regularly run upwards of 5k, and their pace, style and stamina is increasing. Go team!!
  • Tuesday: 10.5 miles/17k at 8:30 mile pace
  • Wednesday: 1.5 mile warm up, 5x 0.5 trail hill reps, 1 mile cool down. I tried to take a pic of the hill, but was busted by my running mates: ‘are you taking a selfie?!’ Ah, the shame….

 

2) I read this piece about the Scottish referendum yesterday and thought it was a really entertaining way to describe the situation. As the author says – it’s not meant to be political….By the way – this guy is a really good soundtrack composer (@alexbaranowski). Check out McCullin on Netflix: as well as a fab score, it’s a really interesting documentary.

 

3) This seems to be a pretty good philosophy for life:

 Full of nice people

 

4) I am going to try out this 30 Day Challenge by Kinetic Revolution. I follow James Dunne on Twitter (@KineticRev), who always has something helpful to say. They provide you with 15-20 minute drills each day which are designed to improve running technique.  I’ll let you know how it goes – I’m thinking I’ll start it on Monday.

 

5) The Fire Inside by Luke Sital Singh!!!  His songs are soft and loud and intense and energetic and calm. I saw him live a few weeks ago (he’s a funny guy too), and his album is my ‘on-repeat’ for this week. Does anyone else become obsessed with an album at a time?

 

6) This list about moving to Australia made me laugh. I don’t miss the crappy TV or internet, but it does feel undignified to say ‘flip flops’ and not ‘thongs’. Maybe I’ll write a list about England. And just as an FYI, here are  photos from two of my fave places in Sydney, because I know you are all wondering:

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What we have here is some local bush land featuring none other than my Dad, and a cafe. Both are not 15 mins from my parents house. #Nostalgia

 

7) Tonight I am going to the Moulin Rouge. SB and I are meeting up with some Aussie friends in Paris. I know – we’ve been traipsing around like no-one’s business. It’s like we woke up one day and realised we are in Europe so we should go and see Europe. If Ewan McGregor’s not in the Moulin Rouge ready to sing to me tonight, someone’s going to get hurt.

Christian

 

Hot poets are what the Moulin Rouge is all about, right? My expectations aren’t way off?

 

8) And finally a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to one of my bestest buds on the arrival of her daughter this week. I am soooo pleased for her and her family – and can’t wait to meet the little darl.

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I hope you have a great weekend! And unless Air France loses our luggage again, I hope to have some pics of a run or two in Paris next week too 😀

 

Ellie B

Friday Five

Good afternoon everyone!! Welcome to Friday!

 

It’s a long weekend here in the UK – the last one before Christmas – and the whole country is excited. Well, apart from those who have to work.

 

I have seen other blogs do ‘confessions’ posts, where they basically reveal things about them that you might not know. Because I am nosy, I really like these posts. So here, for your reading pleasure, are my Friday Fives: five things that have happened to me in the last 10 days that you might not know:

 

  • I forgot my socks when I was in London, and went running anyway. Now my running shoes stink, and I can’t get the smell out. And, as they were in my suitcase with my other clothes, I’m worried that I smelled the whole time I was in Berlin. Being in HR means that everyone speaks to you very tactfully, so no one would have told me. Who knew a short 7k would prove such a potent enemy to my pretty, purple runners?
  • I discovered that green tea makes me sick. After drinking it first thing on an empty stomach for a while, I always felt nauseous. This morning I was actually physically sick – poor SB was trying to open his birthday presents, and I had to keep running to the bathroom.  It was a great start to his birthday. After a some good internet diagnosis, I learned that green tea stimulates stomach acid, which can upset your stomach. So… beware of green tea on an empty stomach! Back to coffee for me….. it’s a sign.
  • My mojo has gone this week… I haven’t wanted to go on any of the runs that I’ve done. This is kind of how I’ve felt this week:
Of course, that is not how I approached my runs this week because mid-week drinking is never clever.

Of course, that is not how I approached my runs this week because mid-week drinking is never clever.

 

Shut up and Run says you have to approach running like you would a doctor’s appointment, and think that you can’t back out – which is 100% true, and very helpful when you don’t want to go. Drag yourself out there, and about 5 minutes in, you’re a new person, all in love with life etc.

  • And for those looking for a bit of romance – I read this poem this week, and it has made my insides all gooey. It’s so romantic. I  love the idea that someone’s eyes has a voice which is deeper than roses. Imagine being the person this was written about – how could you carry on each day knowing that?
Roses

Gaaaah!! How can you not love those words?

  • I have recently become a bit concerned with facial wrinkle prevention: my dual struggle is that I smile a lot and also run a lot. Laughter lines are pretty well-entrenched – I’ve tried to master the no-wrinkle-smile, but it just look like I’m about to kill someone.
One says 'well well well... I've been expecting you' and the other one says 'genuinely happy to see you'.

One says ‘well well well… I’ve been expecting you’ and the other one says ‘genuinely happy to see you’. Both are kind of school-picture awkward.

 

And I dunno whether running causes wrinkles, but I’m not about to stop. What I am about to do is spend all my disposable income on good stuff to help this. My friend has this blog which has literally saved my life with all this – she is a chemist (like SB) and so really and actually knows what works and what doesn’t. Thank you, Lab Muffin!!!!!

 

I have also been eyeing up some races for Autumn – I haven’t done a half marathon this year yet, and it’s making me twitchy. I love the half!! I can’t wait til payday and I can sign up to them all.

 

And it’s SB’s birthday today!! Happy birthday to the cleverest Organic Chemist in all the land. I am using his special day as an excuse to eat as much chocolate and cake as I can. He’s not even here now…. I can still celebrate 😉

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Happy Friday everyone, and if you’re in the UK, enjoy the long weekend!!

 

Ellie B

 

 

Friday Favourites – Totes Emosh

 

This week I’ve had a sensory overload, and I’m 1000% sure that I’m not being over-dramatic. All of a sudden, everything that I see/read/listen to is amazing. ‘Totes amaze’ if you’re below 27. Or wishing you were below 27. I must admit there’s nothing to do with running on this list, but I really want to share what I’m loving this week. And what good is a blog if you can’t push your own thoughts and ideas forward? 😉

 

So, without further ado:

 

  • Coldplay Ghost Stories. Apart from having the prettiest album cover ever, this is very different to their other albums. Although there are only 9 tracks, each one has such lovely lyrics that I’m grateful there’s no ‘filler’. It’s kind of Coldplay-meets-Cafe del Mar if you can imagine. My personal favourites are tracks 5 and 7.

Ghost Stories

  • Empire Falls. It took me a little while to get into this book, but I cannot put it down now. Set in a former industrial town, it’s all about fate and choices. I want to give so many of the characters a big hug. Don’t be put off by my sentimentality – it’s not chick lit, and is definitely worth a read.

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  • Romantic Works by Keaton Henson. Keaton Henson is not a happy artist! But this album is an instrumental delight. So…. if you’re feeling pensive, contemplative, and in need of some cello/piano love then go nuts. I’ve had him on repeat since Tuesday. If you’re not in that place, then I highly recommend Katy Perry, who is always a contender for my list, but this week she doesn’t match my mood. 😉

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  • Katy Perry. Because she is awesome, and I feel bad for recommending her as a second best. When she performed at Radio 1’s One Big Weekend, she just replaced Kylie as the Pop-Star-I-Wanna-Be: that treasured title that I’m sure all female pop-stars want to hold. But where does that leave Beyonce?? 
I tell ya. It's me with dark hair.

I tell ya. It’s me with dark hair.

 

  • Henrik Ibsen. Oh yes, people, I went there. There’s a Nineteenth Century playwright on my list. Blame Oslo. I read ‘A Doll’s House’ for school when I was 17, and out of everything I’ve read, I don’t think there’s not been a character I think of more frequently than poor old Nora. I have a friend who may read this and smirk – I did not feel so sympathetic at 17. But now that I’m older and wiser, I can a) appreciate how revolutionary the play was, and b) sympathise with the choice that she made. And being in Oslo, where Ibsen lived, I couldn’t help but mark the occasion.
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Selfies with Katy and Henrik

So there you have it. Slightly different to other weeks – I’ve been a bit emosh recently, and these things have helped me process. Deal. Whatever pop-psychology has been necessary. And an honorary mention for the list is the beautiful city of Oslo, where I’ve been for work all week. I can’t get over how gorgeous it is. It’s not the most vibrant or happening of places, but there’s definitely something about it … maybe it’s their penchant for putting statues of random people everywhere. So here are some more pics:

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone. And if you in the mood to have a Very Serious Conversation about literature, the arts and the meaning of life, give me a call. It seems that’s where I’m at this Friday. 30 Rock jokes one day, culture the next. And somewhere in between…. maybe some running?!?!?!

 

Ellie B